Tuesday, August 08, 2006

"How exactly does one get thrown out of an Applebees?"

Sorry for the extended absence over the weekend. There was an impromptu Niagara trip thrown in along with an overly busy Sunday featuring hard-to-understand Indian musicals and completely-enjoyable Will Ferrell movies. Let us dance.


“If you don’t chew Big Red, **** you.”: I think simply going with Shane would have made me enjoy Talladega Nights, since no movie could be better crafted for the viewing pleasure of one person, but then they rolled out the cast and a classic “Will Ferrell Needs Himself Some Redemption” storyline and things were good. This was a nice mix of 40-Year Old Virgin with Anchorman, letting Ferrell and company go on their crazy improv rants while anchoring the story, most of the time, in the idea of friendship, family and just what it takes to be a winner. Showing why Kicking & Screaming was a failure, the movie let Ferrell become the one-of-a-kind character from the beginning, what he is best at. Ron Burgundy, Mugatu, Frank The Tank, Buddy, the bevy of SNL characters: Will Ferrell is a brilliant comedic actor, dammit, and that is what he should play for the entirety of films.

Going an extra step the filmmakers probably didn’t have to go, the racing scenes were actually realistic, although you don’t see too many races ending on footraces or with one of the cars driving backwards. Amy Adams was at a Rachel McAdams-level of adorability, and you have to consider that any movie involving Michael Clarke Duncan singing Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” during the credits has to be good, right? In a summer of utter sucktitude, Ferrell makes amends for his JudeLawIn2004-like 2005 in a surprisingly well-reviewed flick.

And for some reason, they didn’t think this movie would absolutely kill in the summer: Sacha Baron Cohen – you might better know him as Ali G – was the homosexual, French, villain master driver in Talladega Nights. In the trailers before the movies, he had everyone rolling in the aisles with the preview for Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. (This was quite a difference from The Grudge 2 trailer that followed, in which we all looked away and wondered “Why is this trailer so scary?/Why would they put it before a comedy about NASCAR?). The movie looks to be drop-dead, gut-busting hilarious, and judging from the earliest reviews, it absolutely is. Mark November 3rd on your cinematic calendar.

Dancing With The Stars 3 update: Some of the names being floated around for the third installment of the Tom Bergeron-hosted reality funfest include the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, Emmitt Smith; Mr. Lisa Rinna and VM supervillain Harry Hamlin; the exhumed corpses of the careers of Mario Lopez and Joey Lawrence; the lovely Vivica A. Fox and in a move that simply makes me go “Whatever”, Shanna Moakler from MTV’s Meet The Barkers. Here’s the article I just paraphrased for you, which is worth clicking simply for the absurdity of the headline.

Penn State Fans Continue Their Onslaught of Crazy Talk: This will probably be one of the last posts you’ll see on this site about that fine academic institution a few hours east of me, but I wanted to point out that arguing with any Penn State fan is just like arguing with Dill: Whenever they appear to be hopelessly outmanned, they’ll simply switch the subject or attempt to quantify some value that is intrinsically unquantifiable, like heart, hustle or guts. (Joe Morgan appears to have graduated from Penn State.)

Anyway, no better example of this than in the comments of my previous post this issue, where the curator of this site decided to stop attempting to defend PSU’s upcoming season and just attack ND. Fair enough, but his points weren’t really that solid as I haven’t been trumpeting the Irish as some second coming of pigskin perfection. I’m absolutely terrified of our first fours games, although of the four, I’m least scared about JoePa and Morelli moseying on into Sotuh Bend. I also was linked to from this site for apparently just being awesome, so I’m really glad to have that honor bestowed on me. If I was a PSU fan, whose team success has looked like the following the last few years, I’d be thrilled with 9-3 this year:

(And yes, I know Notre Dame’s graph would look a lot like that, but we’ve also had four coaches over that time, one who didn’t even coach a game and two of which have been exposed as rather-to-extremely incompetent. If Charlie’s graph looks like that in six years, everyone gets candy bars on my meager gas station attendant’s salary.)

However, neither of those two sites contain my favorite PSU article. It is a rundown of the difficulty of Penn State’s 2006 schedule. The writer has Notre Dame ranked fourth, which I have little difficulty in accepting considering the Lions must also face Ohio State, Wisconsin (?) and Michigan. Anyway, the article contains the following confusion-inspiring quotes. Everything in italics is the author’s, the bold additions were my own.

This team was spanked--on their home field--by Michigan State. Any coincidence that Sparty is pass happy under Stanton? Even the lackluster Ohio State offense looked incredible against them.

If by spanked he means went to overtime after a valiant 21-point comeback, then yes. And that “lackluster” Ohio State offense was just ranked preseason number one, unless it was the two returning defensive starters that inspired faith in the pollsters.

Forget the hype. Quinn for Heisman? Please. The only tradition Notre Dame will uphold this year is that of being over-rated. After a few beers, you could probably convince me to drop them below Michigan State and Purdue on this list. They might not even get past Georgia Tech in their opener. Read my words and consider them prophesy. The Domer’s will not win this game without the luck of the Irish and some bad calls. Quinn will not pick our defense apart. Notre Lame’s defense was barely adequate last year. Weiss is an offensive guru who excels with a good quarterback—do not expect the defense to be substantially better this season. I rank them here only because this game is on the road and so early in the season—both of which favor the leprechauns. They lost Stovall, but McKnight will be back from an injury. Jeff Samardzija will be back (yawn.) The offensive line will be okay. But defensively, the Irish were exposed in the Fiesta Bowl. Short of a miracle, I do not expect this unit to be any better by September 9th, when Morelli and company will lay to rest the “questions” on the Penn State offense. Minnesota was the break-out game of 2005. This will be the showcase in 2006.

I’m not sure where to start on this one. The misspelling of prophecy and Weis bothers me, but not as bad as the “will not win this game without the luck of the Irish and some bad calls”, and even that isn’t as heinous as putting “yawn” following the name of 2005 consensus All-American wide receiver Jeff Samardjiza. Plus, he seems to contradict himself by pointing out Weis' genius and then saying he won't do any harm to the PSU defense.

I haven’t researched thoroughly enough to say this, but I’m fairly certain Penn State fans are the dumbest, or at least those with the poorest researching and comprehension skills, on the college football blogosphere.

“The rest is still unwritten…”: It happened nearly a week ago, but it was requested I touch upon it, so I shall. The object in question? The Hills finale, which featured one of the oddest decisions I’ve ever seen, in which our increasingly-less beloved LC had to choose between boyfriend Jason and a Vogue internship in Paris, which apparently would be the greatest opportunity afforded to someone aspiring to be in the fashion field. LC chose Jason and a summer house in Malibu (How they afford this, I do not know…Gateley?), which seems a little odd, but hey, if she loves the guy and his pot-smoking habits, who am I to impose my thoughts on their relationship?

My main problem, however, is that there was an extremely easy solution that LC, Lisa Love, Heidi, Natasha Bedingfield, Whitney and Jason all overlooked: Why the hell didn’t Jason just go to Paris with her? I’m sure he could have gotten his money back or subleased the house out to someone else, and it’s not like he has a job, career, quality friends or anything else in his life save for LC, so why didn’t he just go tour Europe with her for the summer? I understand that in Michael Scott’s big book of conflict resolution, compromise isn’t acceptable, but it seems like a solid choice here.

With that rather bait-and-switch ending, we were left with the conclusion of our first season of The Hills, and I feel like giving it a solid B. There weren’t a lot of characters we really cared about, but some of the early moments with Heidi and later moments with Jason and LC’s relationship were laugh-out-loud funny. Plus, I always enjoyed how Lisa Love tried to act so Devil Wears Prada whenever the cameras were around. They signed on to do a second season, so I guess our adventures with tertiary characters such as Audrina and Brian are only beginning.

Summer Runs Short: I know that people will begin filing into ND at the end of this weekend, so this is your last week at home, so I wish you safe travels and implore everyone to check out Avants’ early pictures of our bar on Facebook. Very excited for that piece in what appears to be a less and less productive semester of school the more I think about it. And no, I’m not even remotely upset by that fact.

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